The Importance of Sleep

Let me tell you a story about sleep.

A few years ago, when I was still trying to force myself to everyone else’s schedule, I was a real wreck. Shaking all the time. Nauseous and ill every waking moment. In lots of pain. I went in to the doctor and he asked me how I was sleeping. I told him hardly at all, because I was trying to keep to a schedule and my body was fighting me. He gave me the best advice which absolutely changed my life. It lessened my pain and gave me more days of clarity and focus.

He said, “SLEEP. I don’t care when you do it. I don’t care how you do it. I don’t care if it’s in the afternoon, all afternoon. I don’t care if it’s in 5-minute increments all morning. I don’t care if you stick to a schedule. SLEEP. Sleep is the #1 MOST IMPORTANT thing for Fibromyalgia.”

I took his advice, and I do all of those things. From the five-minute nap (ask my friends, I’ve been known to put my head back and fall asleep during lulls in conversation), to the messed-up schedule, to the lengthy afternoon nap. If I need to sleep, I DO IT! The best thing I’ve found, is that after I started getting extra sleep, my body started to regulate itself again, and my hours “standardized” to a point where I can predict them now. Getting lots of sleep whenever I needed it was crucial to healing the damage my Fibromyalgia was doing. After I caught up, I normalized to a point where I only need 6.5 – 7.5 hours in the winter. (The summer has different rules because of my heat exhaustion, so all bets are off. I sleep 10 – 12 hours in the summer.)

So the point is: SLEEP. I’ve learned through personal experience that about 75% of all of our mood and health-related problems can be cured by getting adequate amounts of sleep, so do it!